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Siemans to cut 15,000 jobs, one-third in Germany

Europe’s biggest engineering firm is cutting staff to improve its profitability.

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Euro coins. (Sean Gallup/AFP/Getty Images)

Siemans, Europe’s biggest engineering firm, is cutting 15,000 jobs over the next year, a company spokesperson said Sunday.

Siemens' divisions make trains, gas turbines, medical scanners and factory automation gear, among other products.

One-third of the cuts will occur in Germany, where the company is based. The cuts will reduce headcount by 4 percent.

Siemans hopes to save $8.1 billion with the move, part of an efficiency improvement scheme launched by Chief Executive Peter Loescher who was himself booted out two months ago over slumping profitability. The company is now headed by its former chief financial officer, Joe Kaeser.

Initially, the company planned to cut 8,000 jobs globally, a source told Bloomberg News in October.

Siemens’ profit margin in 2012 was 9.5 percent, compared with 10.3 percent for competitor ABB Ltd. and 15 percent for General Electric Co. Fitch Ratings downgraded Siemans' credit rating in August.

In Germany, the company’s industrial unit will shed 2,000 jobs, and its energy and infrastructure business will lose 1,400 jobs.

Siemens said it plans to shrink entirely by attrition and voluntary severance deals and does not anticipate enforced firings.

The company’s unions have agreed to about half the job cuts and are continuing to negotiate the other half.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/germany/130929/siemans-cut-15000-jobs-one-third-germany